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    Bonkers Kerbonauticus

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  1. There were a LOT of changes made from Block I to Block II. And surprisingly there are a lot of different versions of the FDAI (even without accounting for the fact that the LEM and CM versions were different too). In fact just look at these two pictures and spot the difference (sorry for the poor quality of the Margaret Hamilton one... it's from a newspaper... and no, I have never been able to figure out why it's like that... my only thought it was a change between Block I and II). EDIT: The newspaper picture filename tells the whole story lol... She's sitting in Apollo 2 which WAS Block I. Guess the pilots decided they felt that the 8-Ball wasn't right in that orientation because only the Command Module was mounted that way and switching over to the LEM meant having to rotate their mindset 90 degrees. Makes sense. KISS principle in action.
  2. Actually the needles are orange. Fluorescent orange. The ball is off white and the flat horizon bar in the centre is fluorescent white. So even someone with red/green colour blindness can read it.
  3. Holy *Bleep*... THATS IT! (or the closest I’ve seen so far) The 4 is the correct one too which is what confirms it. Thanks a million. 6 years searching and I could just have looked on here. DOH! Off to download it now. Edit: Got it and its the one all right. When I saw you said Mil Spec I was imagining something like the spray one they use on all military containers of the time... not this stick font (which is perfect for engraving). There are several versions of the ball and some have rounded 3's which make it tough to choose... but I have always liked the look of the engraved balls. Thanks again... I'm really going to have to work on doing the template for the sphere now... oh and finish building the Spherebot to engrave the ball. I got the silicon mould today to make the resin version. That's going to be a challenge too.
  4. Actually it’s nothing like Earth based artificial horizons. Those are made to show pitch, roll and includes slip and turn indicators. They have a small gyro inside the instrument itself that it uses to display pitch and roll. What took me a while to figure out is that the Apollo 8-Ball is a TRUE 3 axis instrument with the gyro located outside of the instrument because it’s much bigger and much more complicated. Just look up “Apollo IMU”. The inside of the Flight Director Attitude Indicator show pitch, roll and yaw as well as showing fly-to needles for pitch, roll and yaw and also rates of change for all three axes too. The “ball” is actually 2 hollow hemispheres either side of a fixed disk. The hemisphere rotate around an axis that goes through the middle of the plate. The above screenshot is what started me on truly realising what the Navball was and what made me want to make a working one that could be linked to KSP... but while I could find text on the formulae that drove the navigation system, I couldn’t find hardly anything on how Honeywell actually made the thing.
  5. I’m still working on my Real Navball Project to have a real 8-Ball to use with KSP but need to shout out to the greater KSP social group. you see I’ve been trying to find out what font was used on the ball itself and I think I’ve looked but just can’t find anything on the actual building of the FDAI/8-Ball whatsoever. Either it was filed under top secret or the CIA ordered it shredded like a lot of the stuff about Apollo (like the F1 engines). I’ve been looking for the past 6 years on and off to find this font. Does anyone know the font they actually used? I have made one close-ish match... what do you think? The 3 doesn’t curl as much as on the real FDAI but the rest of the font looks pretty close. It’s called Brown... if one colour the 60’s was known for is brown ... or was that the 70’s lol. I really wanted to have a Kerpollo cockpit built for the 50th but it was harder than I thought. The research takes AGES to compile for a start.
  6. I just noticed something... I was looking for a reference shot of the original FDAI case when I spotted the original's tag... Wouldn't that make it an IAFD and not an FDAI... I wonder who changed the name... and were Honeywell peed off that they changed the name lol.
  7. Regarding the absolute angle sensor... it all works on a custom hall-effect chip. Use a diametrically magnetised magnet on the end of the axle and you can tell what angle the axle is at. Because the axle is actually going to have the two sides of the spheres attatched for the pitch access, the yaw access is going to be blocked by the motor on one side and the wires through the slip ring on the other and the final axle is just blocked by the slip ring on the one end and not having access to the other as it's going to be rotating... well the fix for it is... gears. Just take a pair of gears of the same size and make a second axle... then you can attatch the magnet to the second axle and you can read the angle from that. As it's a mirror of the primary axle you just have to put the sensor on opposite the direction to what you would if you were reading direct from the primary (that's a bit of a mouthful lol). Oh and can someone tell me why diametrically magnetised magnets are a load more expensive than normal magnets? This little breakout board works great with an arduino and only requires VCC, GND, SDA an SEN to read it. There are two of these inside the ball and one on the outside. As each one needs a separate address so the correct one can be read you need to be able to do some microsoldering Here are the two zero ohm resistors (basically a wire but in an 0805 package... look for the little grey rectangle with the 0 on top) that are basically hardwired switches. The I2C switches are in the correct place but for the ADDR SEL I have to change two of the the boards by moving the resistor so that board one is as below, board two has the lower resistor moved and for board three the upper resistor is moved. You need a steady hand and good eyes... or cheat like me and have a kickass microscope for microelectronics work. It even has a port to output to a camera so I can look at what I'm seeing on a large monitor. So yeah, it's taken me since 2013 to find a suitable solution to what was done back in the 1960's. Granted they had millions of dollars behind them but were held back by the technology of the time. Oh and before I found this little chip for £11 the cheapest absolute sensor I could find was over £600 (which was why I was having problems)... and I need to use three of them... plus extras in case of failure and/or me breaking them. I always thought flight sim hardware was a rip-off but I can honestly say I understand it now.
  8. I think a lot of the duplication was to make sure the contacts actually kept in contact (as is the fact that while the ball is in motion and the spacecraft itself moving meant the connectors actually bounce leading to possible intermittent breaks in signal. Inside the ball are two motors and two angular resolvers (as in sensors that detect what angle the ball is at. I found that my incremental sensors were occasionally resetting to zero when the movement was rapid. The Block I command module only had a single 8-Ball and the astronauts weren't confident about the build quality of the hardware (which was sadly what led to the Apollo 1 fire and the loss in life of Grissom, White and Chaffee) so the Block II command module and LEM both had dual 8-Balls for this very reason. In fact they called the Block I command module a "Lemon" and Grissom actually attatched a lemon to the NASA logo to point this out. Not a single Block I manned mission was flown. Was the Apollo 1 fire a tragedy... yes, but I truly think the redundancy they included in the Block II flight hardware is what meant they succeeded in getting to the moon, and more importantly, safely BACK from the the moon.
  9. Some of you oldtimers here will know that I have been working on building a working FDAI (Flight Director/Attitude Indicator - the Apollo 8-Ball) system since 2013... As I can only work during the summer months when my disability isn't playing up the progress has been sloooooooooow... but I'm actually getting closer to a prototype that is actually closer to the original Apollo Navball/8-Ball that I expected. You see I started out trying to use stepper motors... they worked, sort of, but the sheer bulk of them meant the damn ball was unbalanced. You also have a problem in that they draw a bunch of power too and I burned out a slip ring doing it that way. For those not knowing anything about robotics, a slip ring is used to transfer electrical signal from a stationary part into a rotating part without twisting up wires. The Apollo slip ring is actually easily visible in the opened up original FDAI. There is also a slip ring at the back of the unit... this image is taken from the 8-ball used on the shuttle. You can see the contact whiskers clearly here as they have been moved out of the rotating part. (Note: All images are from the Historic Space Systems website - http://www.space1.com/Artifacts/Apollo_Artifacts/FDAI/fdai.html ) Making slip rings for my model was out of the question (I just don't have the skill)... but luckily, thanks to robotics and even wind power (yeah, they use them on rotating windmills) I found small slip ring modules on ebay cheap enough and small enough to fit my model. The reason my slip ring burned out is that the contracts were only rated for for 2 amps and the steppers I used actually peaked higher than that when I was seeing how fast I could go. Then I went to motors and incremental angle sensors. The problem with that version was that you had to calibrate the thing every time you turned it on... and it also tended to lose position after a while so it would need to get updated often. So that version was a fail Then I worked on 360 servo driven with a differrent incremental rotation sensor... and it worked... but the big breakthrough was when I found a little sensor package that actually knew the ABSOLUTE angle all the time... so you could turn off the thing and turn it back on and it would instantly know what angle the ball is at. With an incremental sensor you could have the Roll axis at 40 degrees but when you turned the thing off and on again the angle would now read 0 degrees. With the Absolute sensor it would say 40 degrees right away. Makes this sooooooooooo much simpler. The test version of a single axis worked great but the roll axis burned out the servo... It was also too slow when I put the capsule in a roll so im going with a proper geared DC motor instead and making my own servo system. So that's this years task... buid a full scale version of the 8- ball, engrave the ball itself and make and laser engrave the front bezel. I'm also using 6 servos to drive the rate and "Fly to" needles so that's a simple enough task. I just need to design a stepped housing for them. Currently I'm working on updating my CNC machine to do laser engraving work as well as doing the part cutting. I'm also raising the gantry (which I've been putting off for over a year now) to allow my to cut taller parts..
  10. I was just checking to see if it was working as the version I was testing on was KSP 1.3.1 hehe.... it's just a stripped down KSP just used to test hardware/software communication... I went to upgrade to the latest version of KRPC and was worried when I didn't see an update since 1.4 and panicked a bit. I do want to have the thing working after all the money, research and time I've spent on the project.
  11. It's kind of essential if I want my Navball project to keep on progressing you see. I've just been busy working on the new design and build of the hardware and then get the data pulled of the game and passed to the Navball CPU when I have it working properly... but I don't really want to end up with an paperweight that just looks good. The good news is my last prototype worked... It just wasn't fast enough for me and could lag out if I got into a spin. I'm actually going ahead and building my own custom servos this year and want to see if that fixes the speed and overheating issues (oh yeah, forgot to mention the overheating). This project IS doable... It's just that the goalposts keep moving lol. I can't believe I started this in 2013... but I did take a year off in 2018...
  12. Got to wait for them to fix my missing expansion... all I see is Away With Words MK II darn it.
  13. Hey NeoMorph I saw in one of your threads years ago about returning the stupid mechjeb transparent menus back to GUI Gray.  How do I do this?  I also suffer with colorblindness and find the gray helpful.  Plus I find that stuff can actually be activated behind the transparent part of the mechjeb gui.  Also I am trying to write a macro based on a tiny screen sample of these transparent GUIs and if they are transparent that won't work!  Help!  Please!

  14. Actually that centre bit pops out, leaving a hole that you can then pop out the entire red area. The screws are hidden underneath. ... oh and I don't have one... I just have done an insane amount of research and hours of lying in bed thinking about how to do it. Doing 3d manipulation in my head is something that used to help me a lot during maths and the only thing that stops it is the morphine I have to take... so I've gritted my teeth and taken my dose late so that I can have a couple of hours of mental exercise... problem is that when I do that I get hyper... and if I answer on here I end up doing damned monologues lol. Old girlfriend called it my "Verbal Diarrhea" mode. The only thing that was problematic was designing the the axle and hubs that connect with the three screws and then gluing them to the sphere itself. It's easy to epoxy it but metal to plastic ends up with a weak joint. That is why I finally decided on using an acrylic disc with the screw holes in would be cut by the CNC for a perfect fit and acrylic welded to the sphere so they in essence become a single piece. I even planned on using casting acrylic to make the disk support but found that when you cast in a mould the darn thing shrinks too much. So I cut the disc out of 6mm of solid acrylic. If it ends up not being strong enough I will use 10mm. But it's going to be cramped in there as it is. Two steppers, hall effect sensors, Slip ring wiring connectors and bearing mounts... Going to be hard. So I'm still going to try and make a larger version first (I had a bunch of larger spheres arrive from an ebay order I had forgotten... must have taken 8 months lol).
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